Johns Hopkins, Omnnea team up to bring mobile healthcare to Iraq

Mobile healthcare is making its way to Iraq thanks to a collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and Omnnea Wireless, Ltd. JHU's Carey Business School and the Iraq-based wireless provider are joining forces to launch the ONE TOUCH Health Initiative, an effort that will give Iraqi patients in remote areas access to doctors via video conferencing, as well as lifestyle advice through SMS messaging. 

Similar to efforts previously deployed in Africa, the goal of ONE TOUCH is for patients to be more engaged in their own care. Omnnea is optimistic its venture will be successful in part, it maintains, because most Iraqi citizens already have mobile phones. "Many programs target the small portion of the population that can afford extensive medical attention," Omnnea executive vice president Hanadi Faris said, according to the company's press release. "ONE TOUCH Health is meant to improve health for everyone, regardless of means." 

Individualized health databases also will be available for subscribers, in addition to the conferencing and SMS services. The program, which initially was developed last year, is set to officially launch by the end of Q2 2011.

Another opportunity for nations like the U.S. and the UK to take stock in the potential of mobile health deployment? Perhaps.

To learn more:
- read Omnnea's press release